WSUV prof gets fellowship to complete book

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Salmon Creek — Thanks to a $65,000 research fellowship, Washington State University history professor Sue Peabody is able to take a year-long sabbatical to finish her book "Slavery and Emancipation in the Indian Ocean World: A Family Biography."

The fellowship came from the American Council of Learned Societies, which awards stipends to scholars to support their humanities and social sciences research at doctoral and postdoctoral levels. More than 1,100 from the United States applied for the fellowship, but only 65 were selected. To research her project, Peabody has already visited archives around the world, including Paris, London and islands in the Indian Ocean. She is married to Columbian reporter Scott Hewitt. Her book weaves a historical narrative about how slavery impacted a family spanning generations.

"When most Americans think of slavery, they picture 'Gone with the Wind' or 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,'" Peabody said in a press release. "In fact, slavery existed for thousands of years before Columbus but it was not defined by racial difference until the colonization of the Americas."